RealTime IT News

Homestore Acquiring iPlace

In a move that both bolsters and complements its offerings, online real estate network Homestore.com Inc. is acquiring Langhorne, Pa.-based iPlace Inc., which provides online credit and neighborhood information to real estate professionals and consumers, for about $150 million.

iPlace is a unit of Stamford, CT-based Memberworks . iPlace says it has 600,000 paid consumer subscriptions; the site provides credit scores and reports, data on recent home sales and details on various neighborhoods.

Westlake Village, Calif.-based Homestore.com said that the deal includes about $70 million in cash and the rest in stock.

"Like Homestore, iPlace is one of the few companies to establish a successful subscription business on the Internet," said Stuart Wolff, Homestore chairman and chief executive officer. "We believe the product lines will fit very well strategically and the combined traffic significantly extends the reach of our network of Web sites."

eNeighborhoods Inc. was founded by Stuart Siegel, now iPlace's president and chief executive officer, in 1996, and later merged with ConsumerInfo.com, then a wholly owned subsidiary of MemberWorks, and was subsequently renamed iPlace.

iPlace's products and services include iPlace.com, eNeighborhoods, ConsumerInfo.com, QSpace.com and Relocator. iPlace claims to be the first site to enable consumers to access their credit reports online and to offer a merged report containing credit information in an easy-to-read format from the three major credit bureaus.

MemberWorks is a provider of discounted goods and services to members through affinity marketing and various online channels. Its stock was up 71 cents to $22.75 in early trading. Homestore was down 47 cents at $23.58.

Homestore.com Web sites include REALTOR.com, the official Web site of the National Association of REALTORS; HomeBuilder.com, a new homes destination; Homestore.com Apartments & Rentals; and Homestore.com, a home sales information resource. Homestore acquired Cendant's Move.com last February.